The Shipping Boys have grabbed a place in the semifinals of the Blue Cup hosted by Liberia Football Association First Division club, Barrack Young Controller. Coach Tapha Manneh’s boys ensured they reach the next stage of the tournament with a five-star performance over the third division side.
The Shipping Boys humiliated the Scorpions 5-2 to set up a semifinal clash with the host’s junior team, Barrack Young Controller II. The match against Samira saw, Hilton Varney, Mark Paye and Kemoh Kamara returning to the Blue Field. The trio were signed as free agent after being released by the Go Blue Boys.
In a 4-4-2 formation, Prince Wlame started in goal, Darius Kah and Hilton Varney played at the right and left back while Kemoh Kamara who was the day’s captain was paired in center defense with Gambian defend general, Arona Jabang. Armah Vaikinah and Saah Nyumah paired in midfield while Morris Vamboa and Amadiah Kawah played at left and right midfield. Gambian striker, Mustapha Njie was paired on top with former BYC striker Mark Paye.
The selection worked well for Tapha Manneh that saw his side taking an early lead. Mark Paye score with the second minutes after kickoff to put LISCR ahead. The lead was doubled six minutes later by Amadiah Kawah who scored with header. Hilton Varney crossed from the left side landed on Mark Paye’s head who landed the ball to Kawah that scored with a header.
Samira pulled a goal back in the 9th through Mitchel George. George scored from a scrambled ball in LISCR’s defense with low right-foot shot to reduce the deficit. Despite the Scorpions pulling a goal back, the Shipping Boys kept the match under their control while in search of more goals. The third goal came in the 21st minute through Mark Paye who made no mistake in correcting Samira’s defensive error.
A 3-1 lead put LISCR in total control of the match, but Samira hopes of turning things around remained strong as they kept pushing for a goal. After several attempts on goal, they got their second in the 38th minute with shot from the edge of penalty box. Richard Kanneh got the Scorpions second goal to bring back the one goal lead. The 3-2 scorline gave Samira a hope of turning the score around, but LISCR maintained their narrow lead until the end of the first half.
The second half saw a better performance from LISCR that score two additional goals and prevented Samira from Scoring again. Tapha Manneh introduced Edward Ledlum, Allen Njie, Bully Drammeh, and Sheku Sheriff to strengthen his side on the pitch as he went on searching for more goals. The trio were introduced for Morris Vambo, Amadiah Kawah, Saah Nyumah and Armah Vaikinah that played excellently in the first half.
Five minutes into the second half, Ledlum registered his name on the scoresheet with a beautiful run before finding the back of the net. LISCR’s dominance over the Scorpion continued to increase in the match with having the lion share of the ball possession and creating the goal chances which they failed to convert to increase the score. Their search for the fifth goal came in the 68th minute through Ledlum who got his second goal of the match. Ledlum scored from Bully Drammeh’s assist to increase the goal difference by three goals. Down by 5-2, the macth appeared to be over for Samira that was finding it difficult making their way through LISCR’s defense to get a goal again. The Scorpions only effort on goal came in the 81st minute but was denied by Prince Wlame. Kanneh saw his close range shot denied by Wlame who put it out for a corner.
The score remained 5-2 until the final whistle was blown as LISCR went on to reach the semifinals. The Shipping Boys will look forward in reaching the final on Thursday, May 10 when they take on BYC II in the second semifinal match at the Blue Field.